While registering for selective service in the United States is still a requirement for males between 18 and 25 (regardless of citizenship status) the draft to conscript Americans for military service has been over since 27 January 1973. Despite what we might think of current recruiting challenges, an all-volunteer military service is crucial to the continued excellence of the US Armed Forces, as only those with a belief in the cause or skin in the game make their way to the front lines of any potential conflict.
There are other places the draft still exists in American life; namely in the world of sports. While this is a valuable practice in the sporting community to ensure fairness of recruiting across the leagues, it is still a semi voluntary process. Players are there by choice.
But what now happens when we apply a military draft conscription to other areas? The United States is as always short on teachers, medical professionals, emergency responders, packs of wolves trained to eat only politicians… Why not simply conscript people to fill these positions?
Because Communism sucks, that’s why.
Where the concept usually fails is in the execution, where the people who implement the system take power over that system and the general population suffers. Despite the claims everyone would receive in equal measure for the common good.
Additionally, there is a stifling of creative inspiration. In the old Soviet system, for example, imagine you were interested in becoming a doctor. By any appreciable metric you would make an excellent doctor, but… The government doesn’t need any more doctors. They require Olympic figure skaters and janitorial technicians to make the numbers work. So, instead of curing cancer through a lifetime of study and inspiration, you take 19th place in Tokyo.
To implement a similar system to fill the ranks in America would be a futile effort at best, producing mediocrity and a further deepening of the cracks in our cultural infrastructure. Then again… If we return to our sporting version of the draft, a voluntary, ranked selection process…
Here we get into more solid ground. Imagine having drafts similar to the NFL for the best teachers, the best medics, the best politician consuming wolves. Interest in these areas, not to mention pay scales and benefits would go through the roof.
The United States would be able to ride a wave of competition based excellence into the next decade that could make the moon shot of the 1960’s look like a child’s game. If there is anything America is built on, it would be our competitive spirit, so why not harness it? And much like the moon shot, it can be sold to the public in one simple and successful formula: It Fights Communism.